Plato was considered as the father of the Idealist School and as he really was. Plato portrays an Ideal state in his widely known work REPUBLIC. His concept of the Ideal State was recognized as Utopian One. He wanted to realize the idea of good in his Ideal State.
Plato’s Ideal State had certain features that reflect his idealist and utopian ideas.
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These Eight Features Of Plato’s Ideal State are:
- Philosopher King: A Ruler Should be a Philosopher.
- Education assumes Important for the creation of the best ruler.
- The Spirit of Justice is supreme.
- The complete ban on art and Poetry.
- Society was divided into three classes.
- The rules and soldiers should live under the system of communism of property.
- There should be gender equality.
- The women of the Rulers and Soldiers are held in common.
1. Philosopher King
A Ruler or King should be a Philosopher.
In Plato’s “The Republic,” the philosopher king is a central feature of his ideal state. This concept refers to the idea that the ideal ruler of a state would be a philosopher, someone who has a deep understanding of the nature of reality and the human soul.
Plato believed that the ideal state would be ruled by individuals who possess both wisdom and virtue, and who have a deep understanding of the nature of reality. He believed that only a philosopher can truly understand the nature of justice and the good life, and therefore, only a philosopher is capable of ruling justly.
The philosopher king, according to Plato, would be a person who has reached a high level of understanding through a long process of education and self-examination. He would have the ability to see beyond the immediate concerns of the state and to have a deep understanding of the underlying principles that govern society. This would allow him to make wise and just decisions for the good of the state.
In addition, the philosopher king would be able to see the difference between appearance and reality, and would be able to govern accordingly. He would be able to see through the illusions of the world and to perceive the eternal truths that underlie all things.
Plato envisaged that the government should be headed by a Philosopher-King who embodies the perfect knowledge and is best suited to uplift the interest of his subject. Plato says a Philosopher has all the qualities necessary to run an effective government.
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Education assumes importance in the Ideal State of Plato. It should be directly under the control of the Rulers. For the creation of good rulers, a good education system should be built up.
In Plato’s ideal state, as outlined in his work “The Republic,” education plays a crucial role in the formation of the individual and the health of the state as a whole. Plato believed that the goal of education was to produce virtuous and wise citizens who would be able to govern the state justly and effectively.
In Plato’s ideal state, education would begin in childhood and would be divided into three stages. The first stage, from birth to age six, would focus on physical education and training, with an emphasis on gymnastics and music. The second stage, from age six to age twelve, would focus on basic education in mathematics and reading, as well as music and poetry. The final stage, from age twelve to eighteen, would focus on higher education in philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences.
Plato believed that education should not only focus on the acquisition of knowledge, but also on the development of the individual’s character. He believed that the study of music and poetry would help to cultivate virtues such as courage and self-control, while the study of mathematics and philosophy would help to develop the intellect and the ability to reason and think critically.
In addition to this three-stage education, Plato believed that the education of the ruling class, known as the “philosopher-kings,” would require an additional level of education to prepare them for the task of ruling the state. This education would involve the study of the highest forms of knowledge, such as mathematics, philosophy, and science, and would focus on the development of the individual’s ability to understand the true nature of reality and govern justly.
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The Spirit of Justice is Supreme in the Ideal State. Justice in the state means the due performance by each individual of the functions for which he is best fitted by aptitude and training.
“Injustice causes civil war, hatred, and fighting, while justice brings friendship and a sense of common purpose”.
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4. Ban On Art and Poetry
4. There is a complete Ban on art and poetry, as they appeal to baser instincts. Nothing goes to the youth without the approval and supervision of rulers.
He was against poetry because he believed that poetry deals with the unreal.
5. Three Classes – Rulers, Soldiers, and Peasents
Society was divided into three classes – rulers, soldiers, and peasants – all performing their functions most dutifully. There should be a strict division of labor. This was the fifth most important feature of Plato’s Ideal State.
There is the principle of functional specialization that prevails in the ideal state. Every person performs only those functions for which he is fitted and gets training to perform his functions efficiently. No class interferes with the sphere of other classes.
6. Communism of Property
The rulers and soldiers should live under a system of communism of property. They should not own any private property at all.
In Plato’s “The Republic,” he presents an ideal state in which property is held in common by the citizens. This is known as the communism of property feature. Plato argues that in order for the state to function properly, all property should be held in common, rather than being privately owned by individuals. He believed that private ownership of property leads to inequality and conflicts among citizens, and that it is only through the communal ownership of property that true justice can be achieved.
According to Plato private property corrupts people and leads them to go against the state.
In Plato’s ideal state, there would be no private ownership of property. Instead, all property would be held in common, with each person contributing their fair share of labor and receiving their fair share of goods and services. This would eliminate the class distinctions that would arise from private property ownership, and instead, all citizens would be equal.
In addition, the communism of property feature would also provide an opportunity for the philosopher-kings to have control over the resources and wealth of the state, and in turn use it for the betterment of the society, without the fear of greed and self-interest.
7. Gender Equality
Gender equality is another important features of the Ideal State.
In Plato’s “Republic”, he presents the idea of an ideal state in which there is gender equality. He suggests that both men and women should have the same opportunities for education and participation in politics and government. Plato argues that both men and women have the same natural abilities and should be able to develop them to their full potential.
In the ideal state, Plato suggests that both men and women should receive the same education, which includes physical training and education in music, literature, and mathematics. He argues that this is necessary for both men and women to be able to fully participate in the governance of the state.
Plato also suggests that both men and women should be able to participate in politics and government. He believes that women are just as capable of making good decisions and ruling justly as men, and that they should have the same opportunities to hold office and make laws.
Furthermore, Plato’s ideal state also features a merit-based system for assigning roles and responsibilities. He suggests that people should be selected for roles and responsibilities based on their natural abilities, regardless of their gender, and that everyone should have the opportunity to develop their abilities to the fullest.
Women are given the same training as is given to men. They are allowed to hold public officers along with men.
8. System of Temporary Marriage
The women of the Rulers and Soldiers are held in common by men belonging to these two classes.
According to a system of temporary marriage one fit woman is married to one fit male for one year. After the birth of a child, the two are separated and joined to a different person of opposite sex provided he or she is healthy and fulfills the age qualification.
Women in the ideal state are fit for procuring children between the age of 20 and 40 and men between the age of 30 and 55.
The children so born of temporary unions between the best of men and the best of women are reared up under state control and educated according to their aptitudes. These children when they grow up are put into the service of the State.